Avastin for brain tumour treatment: Checks and balances.
After much anticipation Roche revealed its trial results for Avastin on Saturday at the Society of Neuro-Oncology Conference in Washington. brainstrust was there. We were aware of the anticipation amongst clinicians; it’s all they were talking about. So what was actually said? In a nutshell – Avastin may increase progression free survival but not overall survival. So what does this really mean?
The AVAglio trial found that adding Avastin (bevacizumab) to radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy reduced the risk of cancer progression by 36%. This means that progression free survival was extended from 6.2 months to 10.6 months. But overall survival did not reach statistical evidence. In other words, Avastin does not make a difference to overall survival. All it does is delay progression of the tumour, but the overall survival stays the same. From our perspective this is disappointing. The side effects of Avastin can be very hard to tolerate, so you need to weigh up quality of life with progression free survival. It’s also a VERY expensive drug, coming in at anything between £15,000 and £20,000 a dose.
As usual with a brain tumour diagnosis you are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Here’s a bit more in the news:
What have your experiences been with this drug? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org